SIOUX FALLS, SD -
A forensic pathologist says a South Dakota prison guard who died after his head was bashed with a pipe probably died within minutes of the attack.
Pathologist Thomas Bennett, of Billings, Montana, testified during the last day of the pre-sentence hearing for 49-year-old Rodney Berget.
Berget has pleaded guilty to killing Ronald Johnson on April 12 - Johnson's 63rd birthday - during a failed prison escape with fellow inmate Eric Robert. A judge is weighing whether Berget should be sentenced to death.
Bennett says that in his opinion, the blows to Johnson's head rendered him unconscious immediately. A coroner earlier testified for the state that he believed Johnson suffered.
Zell earlier sentenced the 49-year-old Robert to death for his part in the slaying.
You can listen in to the hearing live on the KELOLAND.com Live Coverage page.
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